Gone are the days of the classic company Christmas party. We Filipinos welcome Christmas uniquely among any other nation. We boast the longest celebration for the yuletide season. As early as the “Ber” months start, as far as the celebration of the Epiphany, Feast of the Three Kings, which is 12 days after Christmas. Now that’s four months of Philippine Christmas mania.
The Christmas of old
Imagine entering the mall on September 1st and hear the echo of Christmas songs played on the mall speakers. Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in our hearts” and Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” graze the ears of mall-goers. Christmas flash sales pop up every week.
We head to the streets and marvel at larger-than-life Christmas decorations on building facades, lamp posts, and homes. From Christmas trees, inflatable Santa, parols, and unending Christmas lights, Christmas is truly more fun in the Philippines.
And now we come to the office Christmas party. Office Christmas parties are a tradition to every adult Filipino. It is time we get to relax after a year of hard work. The time we strengthen the office camaraderie by exchanging gifts with work friends, the office salo-salo, playing games, and the Christmas raffle. And above all else, the office Christmas party is the time new hires go up the stage and perform a dance or song number. Some say it is tradition, others, initiation. A coming of age if you will, “If hindi ka pa sumayaw sa Christmas party, hindi ka pa officially empleyado”(If you haven’t danced at a Christmas party, you are not yet officially an employee) a buddy of mine jokingly uttered in the past.
The pandemic killed the office Christmas party
At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, everything went haywire. The world stopped. Lockdowns after lockdowns in order to curve the spread of the virus. Restrictions have been placed in order to limit the number of people that may gather in certain places. And just recently, one of those restrictions was that companies cannot celebrate their annual Christmas parties.
How technology saves Christmas
As the world adapts to the new normal, we too slowly change the way we interact with others. Gone are the days of physical contact. The accustomed social norms are shifting to virtual. Virtual meetings, virtual hangouts with friends, online classes, it seems the internet paved the way for people to still be connected though not in arms reach. With the restrictions of not more than 10 people allowed to gather for Christmas, the internet becomes the spark to still celebrate the yuletide season.
Annelle Digital hops on the virtual Christmas frenzy
Annelle Digital too did not back down from the pandemic. The Manila-based marketing agency recently held its virtual office Christmas party via Google Meet.
Annelle Digital’s new hire social media marketer – Paolo Limpiado was introduced to the agency. The agency’s Employee of the Year award was presented to the agency’s Link Developer, Joe Cabriana.
To lighten up the Saturday afternoon, the team played “The price is right” where they figured out the price of various products, in this case, toiletries. Unlike the U.S. game show with the same name, they don’t get to bring the item home if we got it correct. The next game played was the “Bring Me” game where, as the title suggests, bring certain items required by the host. The fastest one wins. These games may be simple, but we had fun and surely our comradeship grew.
We went virtual, but we still have food!
The office Christmas party salo-salo is the much-awaited part of the celebration. Not knowing what food the company will serve, experiencing new flavors, fighting for that last crispy lechon skin. And knowing the fact you can go back to the buffet station and refill your plate.
Annelle Digital’s virtual Christmas party too had food. The agency surprised their employees with delicious meals delivered to their homes.
Hotties Gourmet Sausages is a gem located in Marcos Highway, Antipolo. They serve 8-inch sausages in a bun (or with rice), served with the toppings of your choice, together with fries or onion rings. Another must-try from their establishment is their famous Hungarian Sisig and Flaming Wings.
Big Boy Shawarma is a local favorite hangout spot in Deparo, Caloocan. They serve mouthwatering 100% beef shawarmas, either served in pita bread or rice. A crowd favorite are the nachos and cheese sticks. And if you happen to visit them, try their sizzling meals, for sure it will sizzle your food cravings.
Shamtea is the King of Teas located also in Deparo, Caloocan. From mozzarella sticks to their saucy chicken bites, their unique take on finger foods will surely satisfy your cravings. Best paired with their specialty milk teas, and you have a winning combination.
Goldenarc Food Business is an establishment in Deparo, Caloocan that sells frozen packed foods. But that’s just one of their repertoire. They also serve quality and affordable cooked meals to customers.
Capping the event with a photo, or in this case, a screenshot of all the people that make Annelle Digital a successful digital marketing agency. Life may throw a stone at you. But nothing can dampen the human spirit. Strong, relentless, and adaptive to any situation. We will come out of this pandemic stronger. Merry Christmas to everyone! Wishing you a fruitful New year!